911 calls go to state-of-the-art center

"This system is the best in Montana and probably the Northwest — unless someone builds one tomorrow," said Capt. George Skuletich.

By Janine Jobe of The Montana Standard

Dispatchers can now more easily track officers and other emergency personnel while they respond to calls, officials said. The Enhanced 911 system installed nearly a year ago, which displays a caller’s address, is now linked to an electronic map to more easily

pinpoint a caller’s location.

"We don’t yet have locators for cell phone calls, but we have the capability to install it into this system. That will be the next step," said 911 Dispatch Supervisor Kathleen Lasky. "We’re set up for whatever contingencies come around for years to come."

The $750,000 system, which is linked to computers throughout the department and the temporary county jail at Warm Springs, was in addition to the $2 million construction cost to renovate the county’s old jail into the Butte-Silver Bow Law Enforcement Department and Office of the Sheriff.

The old jail at 225 Alaska was built in 1909 and was condemned in 1999 after an inmate set a mattress on fire and it was determined that the building no longer met building codes.

"We’re very pleased with the remodel," Sheriff John Walsh said. "George (Skuletich) has been hip-deep in this project since it started and he has done an outstanding job. Everyone has done an excellent job making this happen.

"We’re still ironing out some of the kinks that come with a move of this magnitude, but we’re getting there."

The new non-emergency telephone number for the law enforcement center is 497-1120.

The new numbers for the Butte-Silver Bow Fire Department are 497-6481 or 497-6482.

Reporter Janine Jobe may be reached via e-mail at [email protected].

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